How many people do you know have a plan—a real plan—for how they want their life to look? I’m not talking about wanting to become a partner in their law firm by the time they are 40 or being married with 2.5 children in the next ten years. What I’m talking about is your LIFE as a whole. What is your perfect environment to live in, with what kind of people do you want to surround yourself, how do you want to spend the hours of your days?
Unfortunately, most people just ‘let life happen to them’. Their days (and years) become dictated by work tasks, to-do lists and demands from others and one day they wake up and wonder what just happened to their lives.
Does this sound like you? I can tell you that until about a year ago this perfectly described me. Sure I was successful in the conventional definition of the term. I was really good at rising to whatever new challenge was presented to me and making it work. But that’s just it – I was rising to challenges set by others to achieve other people’s goals. I was not setting my own direction for my life with intention.
What does living life with intention look like? Its looks balanced, fulfilled and free of undue stress. It’s simply putting your life on the right track to become the life you really, truly want to live. Of course, before you can do that, you need to do some soul-searching and see what that life looks like. Here is how to get started:
Picture Your Life How do you want your life to look in a year? Five years? There is no right or wrong here, and the answers will be different for everyone. For one person, the perfect life may mean hobnobbing at social events every weekend and taking exotic vacations as often as possible. For another, it could mean a quiet home full of happy children and good friends. Don’t worry about HOW you will make that happen just now because that introduces a block before you’ve even begun. Just dream up your big life and then journal it, create a visionboard, whatever works for you to have that picture front and center in your consciousness.
Get Clear On Your Values What truly matters to you? What are you willing to give up to get that? You can start with your life picture and begin with asking yourself why you want that. What will achieving that life mean you have? Working out your values can be difficult for many people. Give yourself permission to be completely honest with yourself. Be sure you are declaring values that truly do matter to you, not what you think SHOULD matter, or you’ll find yourself right back living other people’s values and achieving other people’s goals.
Create Your Plan Once you have uncovered the life you want and why, it’s time to put it into practice. If you want to live a life of intention, you need a daily ritual to plan your day. This includes not only the tasks you must accomplish and goals you want to strive for, but it also includes the thoughts and images in your head, when you’ll take some ‘me time’ and what contributions you’d like to make.
Making a plan each morning is a way to center yourself, to gather together all the little pieces that may have been scattered the day before and put them back together. As motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn says, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
When The Going Gets Tough We humans are creatures of habit and really prefer to stay in our comfort zone. Creating the life you want with intention is anything but comfortable! There are going to be times when it seems too hard, or that you’re pushing against the crowd, or that it’s just not possible. Sometimes it is going to feel pretty compelling to just go back to responding rather than creating.
When that happens, take some time to recognize that this is your old self resisting change, reassure your self that it’s going to be fine, and then refocus on that life picture and pick up where you left off.
So what do you say? Are you ready to create a plan for an intentional life? Come join me in making 2016 the Year of Intention? With a plan, we can accomplish amazing things!
Trish Cody has over 18 years of learning consulting experience with the world’s top Fortune 500 Companies. As a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Master Practitioner, Trish works with clients to uncover their core values and beliefs, understand how they are showing up in their behaviors and habits, and to learn a process of leading energy to naturally attract positivity and success. For more information, visit www.TrishCody.com.